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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  September 2, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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political dynamics in north carolina heading to the november elections. later democratic delegate ryan butler, president of lgbt democrats in north carolina discusses gay and lesbian issues on the 2012 election. "washington journal" is next. host: a live picture inside the time-warner cable arena in charlotte, north carolina. most of the upcoming democratic national convention will take place inside the arena. a speech by president obama. by the way, the national convention of the democrats was the first nominating convention of a major party ever held in the state of north carolina. lots to talk about and preview for you this morning. and dan bowls writes in "the
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washington post" this morning, why is washington as divided as ever? there's a shot of president obama waving after speaking to thousands of supporters in iowa. the main headline said who stood in the way of change? obama vowed a new era of unity. why is washington as divided as ever. want to ask you that question this morning we welcome your phone calls to the segment as well as your tweets and your e-mails. democrats, call 202-737-0001. republicans, 737-0002. and independents, 202-628-0205. we look forward to hearing from you. why do you think washington is as divided as ever? that's the at the nowhere of the piece today. he said despite partisanship, there's polarization. deep as it's been in modern time, instead of cooperation, there is confrontation, instead of civility, there's rudeness.
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the political system seems frozen and more resistant to compromise than ever. two months before the 2012 election, the campaign has become an all-or-nothing battle over the future direction of the country. obama's re-election is threatened most by the state of the economy writes dan balls in the post. but he could be hurt because of the disappointment felt by voters who invested so heavily in what he seemed to offer four years ago and for whom expectations were raised to stratospheric heights. that's part of the matrix of the choice in november. we'll read just a little bit more and take your phone calls. why is the president falling so far short of what me so passionately described as a candidate four years ago. to the partisans on both sides, the answers are simple and fundamentally at odds. the president's advisors contend the republicans show the course of destruction and intransigence from the day obama was sworn in. we met an implaqueble opponent
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in the leadership. this is from david axelrod. they made a decision. from day one, they weren't going to cooperate on any major issue. to the republicans, the other side here, it's a story of a president who arrived in washington with big majorities in the house and the senate and decided to run through a series of liberal initiatives with little regard to the ideas or sensibilities to the other party. another quote. the agenda for the first two years is let's go down our to-do list and move the country to the left as fast as we can from senate minority leader mitch mcconnell of kentucky. read lots more and take you to the newspapers inside charlotte leading up to the convention two days from now. but first up, boston, dan? democrat. good morning. >> caller: good morning, thanks for taking my call. >> host: why do you think washington is so divided? >> caller: axle rohde hit the nail on the head. mitch mcconnell and his first
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statement said we're going to do everything in our power to make this guy a one-term president. they spent all of the money in eight years that bill clinton built up as a surplus. it was gone. so when obama came in the office with big ideas, health care reform, drawing down the wars, there was no money to do these things. but the -- it's like the opposite of "two santas." there's no santa. no money. they know it. thank you. >> host: berkeley springs, carl is on the line for the republicans. hey, carl. >> caller: hey, good morning. >> host: good morning. >> caller: one reason i see -- yesterday morning i was watching your program. your moderator read a tweet saying that people at the republican convention were throwing peanuts at a black camera person and saying this is the way we feed animals. now, he had no proof, no sources, just a tweet. this reminds me down there in
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washington, d.c. where they said the tea party was yelling racial epithets at the congress people. now, they have no proof that one guy offered $10,000 for someone who could show proof. and everybody carries a cell phone, a camera and can record every little thing. now, if you're going to get on there and read and incendiary stuff like that, tell us your sources. tell us who reported it and if they have proof. >> host: the call from berkeley springs, west virginia. steve's an independent. good morning to you. >> caller: good morning, good morning. >> host: why do you think washington is so divided? >> caller: i think it's divided because tibbles republicans have been in campaign mode since the moment obama was sworn into office. and that is not -- i mean even
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romney in his acceptance speech as the republican nominee said that he expected -- fully expected, that any new president would gain the full support of the nation. and that is not what has happened. that is not the american way. we should all be galvanized behind our presence. that is not what happen in this particular election with obama. you had the republicans take a very bipartisan approach the moment -- like i said, i believe you may complain that obama has been campaigning for the past year. they've been campaigning for the last four years. >> host: thanks for calling. a little more from the dan bam piece in the "post." he's talking to the communications director saying there's a misunderstanding of what obama was talking about in 2008 when he called for a new politics, quote, the president did not promise an era of kumbaya politics in which everyone agreed, he said, the
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primary thing he talked most about is that politicians ran from big problems that haunted our country for decades. whether folks liked it or not, he jumped in and took on big problems with full knowledge they would have consequences for him. that ran into a wall of opposition. from the republicans on many of the initiatives is indisputable writes dan ball. what is at odds in the various interpretations of anything that might have changed that. republicans say it could have been different. there's little evidence that once the leadership decided to oppose obama, there's little he could have done to win him over and we show how dug in they were. scott, democrat, what do you think about the divided washington and why that's the case. >> caller: well, first of all, i'm from san francisco. we're pretty much democratic here. and very liberal.
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if you spend for eight years, you have to have eight years to rebuild. i think mr. obama has taken the bull by the horns and done what he could. but the main thing is you have romney who wants to give tax breaks to all of the billion and millionaires and obama is for the working class. and it's like bringing americans back to america. if you don't want to play the game, go some place else. romney has not shown or told the public act his offshore businesses and stuff like that. and overseas businesses. and as far as ryan, neither one of them have international. and at least we have joe biden and joe biden is very, very well set. he was a big leader in the house -- in the senate. and myself, i'd say that we have
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to take the republicans and when it comes to tuesday, i think they've opened pandora's box with all of the -- and i was really upset -- i was actually shocked that mr. eastwood sold out. he was republican and the mayor of caramel, it's here's the party that don't know they're hurt in the back. running around in circles trying to do anything to derail the president. that's total disrespect. but the making is that the republican party, they have a little insight. it's like don't -- don't do taxes and stuff. like this. and he's wanting to increase the taxes for the poor and take away medicare, medical, all of the social programs that will have
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you and even schools. >> thanks for weighing in. i want to get more viewpoints in. we'll do this for 30, 35 more minutes. we're asking why you think washington is divided as ever. a piece by dan ball in "the washington post." be uh the theme of division is out there quite a bit this morning. there's the front page of the sunday l.a. times as they preview the convention which starts in two days. the headline here says under a shot of the president, a deep divide, frustrated at bridge building, obama's campaign gambles that partisanship can play to his advantage. that story published in other papers around the country today. a sense of the dnc schedule. they kick off on tuesday. they go for three days this week. on tuesday, 4th, they will take up their convention platform as we know. foreman president jimmy carter will speak to the group inside the time-warner arena via video. julianne castro will talk. he's the mayor of san antonio,
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texas considered by many to be one of the up and comers in the democratic party. and first lady michelle obama will speak as well. all of that begins on tuesday, three nights, the third night being in that bank of america stadium in charlotte. so we'll have it all live for you here on c-span. marshall, texas now, kevin, republican, good morning to you. >> caller: good morning. i think it's important to remember that in 2006, democrats took control of congress. so we have split power at that time. george bush did what george bush does. he reaches across the aisle. he had the prescription drug program. they raised cap standards, they raised minimum wage. george left, you know. and what did he get for it? and everyone -- once the liberal programs fail, everyone wants to blame the conservative in charge
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for it. and once obama flipped over, he went united congress and president, all democrat. they went way, way far left. i think people rose up in 2010 and said, no! no, we're not going to go that way. and, yet, what we heard from the left is they're racist. that's why -- that's why they're racist. that's wrong. >> host: thanks for calling. we'll hear from the president and mitt romney shortly. bronx, you are up now, kevin, independent. go ahead, please? >> caller: i just -- i should start by saying i'm from from here, i'm african. so my contribution is from an outsider point of view.
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one is there's a lot of traction on the part of the republicans. they don't want to work with the president. everything they want to do is put him down and make him lose. mitch mcconnell, he works to make sure he's a one-term president. and the one thing -- there's a racial component attached to that where the republicans say, we want to take the country back. i say they want to have a white president again. and in their opinion, people are being misled. there are a lot of lies in american politics. i just can't understand why america can have so rich --
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>> appreciate you taking part in the program this morning. front page of the "chicago tribune," another picture of president obama with the headline, unity eludes him after obama failed to bridge the partisan divide, he sought to play up the shift in the public image. now the standoff in dc may help him get re-elected. that's one viewpoint here. the same text of the headline we had here. a little bit of the president yesterday in the iowa campaign. >> despite all of the challenges we face in the new century, what they offered over those three days was more often than not, an agenda that was better suited for the last cent rip. seen it before. might as well have watched this
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on a black and white tv. if you didn't dvr it, let me recap it for you. everything is bad. it's obama's fault, and governor romney is the only one that knows the secret to creating jobs and growing the economy. that's the pitch. there was a lot of talk of hard truths and bold choices but nobody ever bothered to tell you what they were. >> another one of the midwestern papers. this one the sunday free press in detroit. democrats to make case for obama to return. they point out that auto industry comeback and medicare will be part of the convention's focus. you can read that at the free
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press of detroit. atlanta is on the line now. sandra, democrat, good morning. >> caller: good morning. >> host: why do you think washington is as divided as ever? that's the headline in the "post" today. >> caller: for one, president obama has never been given a chance. he's been doomed from day one. they talk about, you know, everybody -- they just talk about him doing what he say he was going to do. it's already messed up. and when you don't even respect the president, what else do you get? i mean, i think it's totally ridiculous. but i guess you can get anybody to make a show -- clint eastwood -- he's been acting for years. i don't have disrespect for the president. it's already divided. >> host: in clearwater, on the
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line for republicans. >> caller: i've got two quick examples. early on the president in a speech telling the republicans, you can get onboard, but you're going to have to get on the back of the bus. and then another quick example -- i remember inviting congressman paul ryan to a speech where he thought he was going to be listening to the president. but for a national tv, he chastised that congressman, you know, made him look like a fool. now that's the two examples there. but the first time i've seen the president give a speech in a long time was right before this program. i have to tell you, you're a romney supporter. i watched the whole convention. i'm pumped up. that's speech -- i can see the audience like wanting to cheer. it's like -- they were dead.
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and that's all he's got, that's his leadup to the convention. i'm competitive, i want this to be a tough close race. this is going to be a blowout. this is carter and reagan all over again where carter leads all the way to the end and reagan just destroyed him. this is going to happen again, i promise you. because that speech in iowa, that was a joke. >> host: from clearwater, florida. vice president biden will be out there today. he'll be speaking in green bay, wisconsin. an event we'll have live for you here on c-span. it's at 4:10 p.m., the vice president campaigning in green bay. i want to remind you about our convention hub as well go. to, there's a ton of information there for you about the conventions. go to 2012. you can watch web exclusive
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videos, create and share video clips. add your comments. all at c-span/campaign2012. go there we hope. and there's a short piece of romney campaigning in cincinnati yesterday. >> getting ready for my -- my convention speech, i read some speeches from some other people who'd spoken at conventions. i read the inaugural speech of some of our great presidents and heroes in my life. and one of the speeches i read was the convention speech of barack obama. he's not one of the ones i wanted to draw from. but i could not resist a couple of things they said. he made a lot of promises. i noted he didn't keep a lot of promises. one of the promises he made was he's going to create more jobs. today, 23 million people are out of work or stopped looking for work or are underemployed.
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let me tell you, if you have a coach that's 0 and 23 million, you say it's time to get a new coach. >> and back to the democrats we mentioned tuesday's schedule. a look at wednesday's schedule in charlotte, north carolina. e litz beth warren, the u.s. senate candidate in massachusetts will speak on day two. that is wednesday. and the nominating speech, a big one by former president bill clinton and later on wednesday, the roll call of the states where they formally nominate president barack obama. by the way, c-span d and c is our hash tag heading to the democrats here if you want to send in tweets. we'll be reading them, showing them over the air in the next several days. why is washington as divided as every. that's the question. it comes from "the washington post" and winter haven, florida is our call now. benjamin, independent, hi, there. >> caller: hi, i am going for
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obama. i did not -- like any of mitt romney's speeches. if you listen to him, he's acting. he wants to talk a lot. but obama is the one that created all of this mess here. but if you look at it, it was messed up from the get-go. like somebody said earlier, everybody is blaming obama so i believe he like -- like that lady was right, saying it was messed up from the beginning. nobody gives him a chance. and, you know, it's a racist thing because everybody wants another white president. but obama is doing -- open up the middle class. what does mitt romney want to do. help out the rich people? no, man, you got to understand that obama is doing everything for like cuts and some rich people. but he -- so far, he's helped me out by what he does. i've seen some changes. but, i still -- if you look at it, mitt romney becomes
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president, the middle class will go underground and romney never -- i've been watching this campaign thing. i'm trying to figure out why mitt romney wants the middle clas to go under. no one has been contesting that. >> host: from winter haven, florida. the front page of the charlotte observer newspaper this morning as the journalists there start gearing up for the convention in two days. "convention city" is the banner headline. uptown charlotte transforms as delegates arrive, protesters camp, and media set stage. thousands of media, police officers, and protesters began arriving saturday in charlotte, a city that's transformed in recent days from bank town to democratic national convention city. security fences are up. buildings sport red, white, and blue convention banners. and on city streets, tv trucks and white party tents. go on and on.
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i talk more here on protesters in this his speech. thousands joined occupy charlotte members in marshall park become a center of activities. still uncertain is how many will converge on charlotte. estimates range from 2,000 up to 10,000. tampa, they write as expected, thousands for the rnc, but hurricane isaac kept many away. they're gearing up for quite a bit more protesting in charlotte than in tampa. long island, new york. christie, democrat, you're up now. hi there. >> hoy, how are you doing? >> good, how are you? >> all right. what would you like to say? >> they're drieded because there's really -- nobody is thinking of anybody else but themselves. they're thinking about who they're getting money from. all of the rich people have given them money. mid romney. oh, yeah, i'm going to do this, i'm going do that. i'm going to do this, i'm going do that. if i say anything, they'll criticize it.
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well, if he says everything that he is going to do and we know about it, people criticize it if there are any areas that can correct them. there's so afraid to talk about this. tell us what we're going to do. tell us what the plans are. the protesters are going to be here in charlotte. the protester in tampa were republican. a lot of supporters. no problem. we're going to change the rules today for you, they're not getting anybody. so you know what? all they want to do is i'm going to lower your taxes. if i tell you, they're going to lower it down. you should have a counterattack. they're talking about medicaid and medicare and all that. they talk about they keep telling lies. if they run a -- what do you call this -- race -- people respect that, the truth. yeah, we're having a hard time. that's all you know we can't -- we're living on borrowed money. right now i'm sending my kids to
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school. you know what? he needs books, i got to buy, i got to get them. i have cash? i got to get them. i got to charge it, borrow money, you got to do what you got to do. you have to get it for them regardless if you have money in your pocket or you have to borrow it. >> host: let's hear from the republican from hodgetown, pennsylvania. good morning, ellen. >> caller: good morning. >> host: the whole idea of a divided washington. what is that? >> caller: i feel like barack obama himself is the reason for the divided country. in the beginning, he looked so charismatic and ready to take america in a new direction. but over the last three years, the lack of leadership and obsessive spending are out of control. one other point i was thinking about is in order to have a rich society, it should be based on high moral character, honesty, and integrity.
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i don't feel that barack obama is the person at this point with the high standards and moral capacity to take this count ry forward for the next four years. the romney-ryan ticket and high moral values and character and integrity that the both of them have is what will help heal the country and create jobs. >> host: i want to mention about protesters. republicans acted in north carolina ahead of dnc. they write the president and the democrats are converging in charlotte for the three-2k5i convention but the republicans aren't ceding the spotlight. paul ryan scheduled a campaign stop in east carolina university in greenville. in the convention, the gop is going to run the rapid response operation in china with ryan's
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priebus heading a group that includes marco rubio. we'll watch as much of the activity we can during the week while the democrats start meeting on tuesday. seattle up next, stuart, independent, good morning. >> i would say i'm a disenfranchised republican who voted for obama. as i see it, there's something seriously wrong when the minority leader to the senate on day one announcers to the nation he's not going to work with this president. also, when you have the speaker of the house who doesn't ever defend the president when something is said with a racial ting says nothing about it. when you look at what's been legislated since the democrats,
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since the republicans took over two years ago, it appears to me they've had a big focus on social issues such as abortion on i think, two, is their -- we've seen a lot of republican-led states in the last two years who certainly want to disenfranchise voters. finally i'll say there's something seriously wrong that you have one segment of the nation for the first time ever is polling at zero for the republicans and the republicans are doing nothing to correct that. >> host: that was stewart. we'll hear more from the president shortly. because boast sides are just that, two sides trying to make each other look worse instead of both sides trying to work together. both parties are responsible for the current divisiveness,
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honestly. division serves corporate power. if there was a profit and compromise, it would be kumbaya time in politics. the last, there seems to be no money to be made in having a functional government. is the place to go there. here's a short piece from president obama on saturday telling supporters about his plan for the country. >> well, this thursday night, i will offer you what i believe is a better path forward, a path that grows this economy, creates more good jobs, strengthens the middle class. you get to choose which path we take. we can take their path or we can take the path that i'm going to
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present. we can choose whether we keep the tax cuts for people who have already made it or keep the tax cuts for the americans still trying to make it. >> christine, kalamazoo, michigan. christine is a democrat, good morning. >> caller: good morning. i think the problem starts with hatr hatred. and i think that before obama g got elected, thee are -- republicans didn't count on him getting elected. they thought he would lose. they had a plan of action just in case he wins. when they did win, that got their ire up greater because he did win. so they went into high geerp and went after him racially.
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got the country -- the people who are prejudice, got them all riled up, it took them a bit of time to get that going. they couldn't have come up with all of the things they did if they didn't have a plan of action. and he had all of the coordinators throughout the state going along with them -- throughout the states go along with them. and, excuse me, that's where the birther thing came from. that's where calling him a muslim came from. they attacked his religion like i've never seen a president attacked before. kennedy wasn't attacked like that. attacking romney that way. but they have president obama also the fact that they don't refer to him as president obama, they also just call him obama. they didn't do that to reagan. they haven't done that to any president in my memory. and i'm 55. they have voted in every
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election. i don't ever remember a president being referred to by just his surname. >> more of the papers in north carolina. this is from the front page of the "winston-salem journal" on sunday. the separate section on dnc. right here, the delegates are ready to roar for their team. they have a photo here at the oh bo ma headquarters in winston-salem as the residents registered the credentials. one of the sub heads of the attendees from the area stress the commitment to the party's core principles. i want you to know about our guest this morning. he's antonio villaraigosa. he's the mayor of los angeles and the chairman of the democratic national convention. the gavel will be in his hand tuesday evening. the program will start at 10:00 this morning and replay at 6:00 p.m. here's a short piece of today's program. >> will democrats go directly at the plan of ryan on medicare.
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sometimes it's the voucher plan. do you think that's a point of vulnerability that democrats will try to exploit in charlotte. >> independent fact checkers, not just democrats, said it's a point of vulnerability. they said point in fact, mr. ryan actually is proposing to take the same $760 billion out to pay for the taxes that they want to cut. the $5 trillion in taxes. the guy who said the number one issue is cutting the deficit. i think we'll talk about the deficit cutters that they are. they like to say that the president didn't adopt the simpson-bowles act. what they don't say is he didn't vote for it. they like to say that, you know, a lot of things that they can't support and a lot of the independent fact checkers, if
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you look at most of the newspapers, they looked at some of these thingings and say it's just not true. so what we've seen is a -- an ability to just get up there in front of the tv camera and say what they want to say despite the facts. so we're going to set the record straight, and, yes, we'll set the record straight on medicare. we'll set the record straight on the ryan-romney budget. we'll set the record straight on their plans to cut $5 trillion in taxes. and essentially, cut every program except for defense. and the like. so we've got -- we've got a story to tell. >> host: the mayor of l.a., mr. villaraigosa will be on "newsmakers." at 10:00 with a 6:00 p.m. replay. he's the chairman of the democratic national convention. day three of the convention thursday features vice president biden.
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we'll hear the nomination speech, renomination speech by president barack obama. so tuesday, wednesday, thursday, democratic convention coverage here on c-span. a couple of nights of this at the time-warner theater in charlotte. 70,000 plus at that stadium. the democrats say they will fill the seats despite the story that worried a little bit about that. here's a tweet this sunday morning about divided washington. the two parties are so entrenched in law that real reform will have to come other than through the ballot box. that from someone calling themselves right wing. georgia, republican, thank you for waiting. >> caller: yeah, i feel like the nation's divided because of government program, primarily the school lunch program.
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you don't divide children across economic lines. they grow up with resentments. that's my answer. >> host: antonio, boston, independent. why is washington so divided? >> caller: first thing, good morning, everybody. and god bless america. i've opinion -- been in this country 46 years, i am italian. what i will say to the american people, the problem is the republican right now. 20 years they destroyed the country completely. now say mr. romney say to obama the other night, oh! the -- everything obama does is no good. the fault is obama. obama shouldn't be president. mr. romney born with a gold
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spoon born in his mouth and our family is in the way. you can see why why did the camera see the wife, mr. romney wife. i know that the problem is republican. my -- my good friend, america, i no am a big deal here. but be careful because if mr. romney going to be president of the united states, it's a mistake. this country will be done, done, done. >> host: show you a headline from the washington examiner today. it's an a.p. story. but the headline says obama trying to make a case for sticking with him. they write here julie pace does -- don't expect president obama to try to reinvent himself next week. instead, he and a slew of
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defenders will seek to convince voters to stick on the president they know rather than gamble on someone they knew. a challenging task that most say is headed in the wrong direction. that's the washington examiner. another paper from north carolina this morning, the sunday news and observer. political speeches fail to sway the beleaguered middle class. north carolina having one of the higher unemployment rates in the country as far as the states go. we'll learn more about the state coming up. >> caller: i would like to thank my previous caller. congress on both sides has been the problem for 40 years. and they've got 10% approval rating. i think they're the ones that should go. both parties, i'm a democrat. i kick mine out, you kick yours out.
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i think we could do a lot better. that's my comment. >> host: appreciate you calling, ocala, florida now, george, a republican. good morning. >> caller: good morning, everyone. i think the divide is pretty much 50-50, 47% of every man, woman, and child in this country is collecting some sort of government assistance. there are people who are paying and people who are collecting it looks like that to me. taxes influence business in everyone's lives way, way too much. i think the objective of the government is to maintain the infrastructure of the united states and the civility of the united states, not to dictate how people live. i have to say one thing, the unadulterated adulation coming from the -- is just amazing. i can't understand why there's not one bit of political
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diversity there. and one lady charged that whites were wanted to elect a white congress or wanted to throw obama out because he was black. every black caller seems to idolize this man. so i don't want to sound like i'm on one side of or the other, because there are so many black people in the legislation and in the judicial system that the conservatives that i think we're very well suited. i think it's between entitlement collectors and the people who actually pay taxes. >> comment from george. josh greenman writes in "the new york daily news" this morning, mr. president, show us how life will get better. he writes democrats need to hug small business as hard as the republicans did.
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offering up a vivid picture. a healthy chunk of the convention should be dedicated to a defense of health care reform. democrats can't look ashamed of obama's central legislative victory from "the new york daily news." another comment as well in the daily news entitled "yes, we must." from bowie. he writes, those who want to re-elect president obama need to face a disappointing reality. the chances that mitt romney may win in november are real. one of the reasons that some of those who supported obama in '08 and still believe in him today are making noises they may not come out to vote. this may only happen in the margins but the margins matter in a close election. demoralized democrats need to snap out of it. they need to realize that president obama has been a
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successful president and the republican alternative as stark and dangerous as anything offered by president george bush. >> caller: good morning. i would like to say they never gave president obama a chance since day one. i wish the news media -- when romney gets out to talk, i wish they would start fact checking him and calling him out on some of the lies. >> host: what are the lies you think concerns you? >> caller: i'm kind of nervous. this is my first time calling. >> host: take your time, take your time. >> caller: with the medicare -- robbing money from medicare and all that.
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taking money out for obama care and all that. the welfare. i think the news media needs to call him out on it. >> host: danny is writing that neither side is giving context of what they can effect and what they need congressional actions for. our nation is so divided based on lies. if it was a battle for ideas, we could talk. but we talk past each other because the facts are not facts. dwight hayes writes this morning this is the result of setting aside the constitution and doing business via the politics way. good morning. >> caller: i watched saturday and sunday morning. and the president was never
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respected. he was never known as the president. and we go with the vouchers, if you noticed back in 1935, they had vouchers, the money runs out. so republicans want to put us on the vouchers. that means we're going backwards. we're not going forward. and many times there, there's a party and it's divided, there's no way we can stop that. so we need to re-elect president obama, do what he's doing. he's doing it not just for the rich, not for the poor, for the -- but for the people. he is one that when ever there's a problem that comes out, he's got it and goes in and talks what he can do. the republicans steps in and cuts him down. they never respect him, never. we have to have respect in order
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to accomplish anything. >> we have time for one last call. ann on the republican line. hi there. >> hi there. thank you for taking my calls, a quick point. a lady i work with 63 years old. she got a letter from medicare recently stating that when she retires, if she retires before 70, she's only going to draw $900 a month instead of what she normally would. plus the costs of premiums in medicare are going to go up next year. the point is, i don't think t t that -- romney and ryan will protect people 55 and over for medicare. obama is not. if that's what they choose to go with, i say let it go. >> lots more about the democratic national convention coming up for the rest of the program here after a short break we'll talk with rob christianson who is a reporter with the news
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and observer, a writer there. he'll give us a sketch of what's going on. also talk later with susan roberts, a professor at davidson college, a thumbnail sketch of north carolina. a little more about southern politics as well. lots more of your phone calls as well. i want to remind you all weekend long, book tv and american history tv is featuring history and literary culture of columbus, ohio. today a special segment on columbus will air at 5:00 from 5 to 5 p.m. all of them can be found on >> the largest set of geometric earth works ever built by anyone. they encompassed more than 4 1/2 square miles and one estimate 7
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million cubic feet of earth in their construction. this map shows in relief what the site looked like before european cities. it was a map drawn in 1848 and a map published in the first smithsonian institution. it's not perfect. it's historically significant and gives us a good idea of what was here. you can see the several major developments. the great circle is where we are now. the circle was 1200 feet in diameter. you could put four football fields end-to-end inside it. it's connected by a set of parallel walls to a perfectly square enclosure. beyond that, there is what this map shows is sort of a horseshoe shaped enclosure, we know it to be an ellipse that completely surrounded those burial mounds. and the other major element is the circle connected to an
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octagon over here at the octagon earth works. but you'll notice each element is connected to another by these interlocking sets of parallel walls. these seem to be ceremonial roadways that connected one place to another. and when people came here, i think they followed those pathways in some kind of ritual, almost a choreographed ritual as they would engage in different ceremonies in one enclosure to another. >> c-span's gavel-to-gavel coverage of the convention starts this week, every minute, every speech on c-span, c-span radio, and on-line at speakers include julianne castro and first lady michelle obama. tuesday, elizabeth warren and former president bill clinton. thursday, vice president joe biden and president barack obama. and use our convention hub to
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make and share video input. >> in the end, that's what the election is all about. do we participate in a politicings of cynicism? or do we participate in a politics of hope? john kerry calls on us to hope. john edwards calls on us to hope. i'm not talking about blind optimism here, the willful ignorance, unemployment will go away if we don't think about it. health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. that's not what i'm talking. i'm talking about something more substantial. >> count your own opinion. convention 2012. "washington journal continues". >> it's reported that the
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convention could bring in $150 million for charlotte and the surrounding area. live picture here. they start tuesday night. they'll go all three nights. ending with a speech of president barack obama at the stadium. two nights at the arena and move over to the stadium for that third night. joining us now from charlotte is rob christianson, long-time reporter and columnist for the news and observer. thanks a lot for joining us this mornin morning. >> host: back up for a second. the gop goes 2 for 3 on the convention goals. tell us what you were writing about and what you're putting out there for folks. >> guest: if you look at what the republicans accomplished going into their convention in tampa, they had to inspire their political base. they liked mitt romney.
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they didn't really love mitt romney. he was not -- he did not have that really strong appeal to the -- to the political base. and paul ryan really fixed that for them. they knew what they didn't like -- they didn't like barack obama and they didn't like his political policies. but you have to be more if you're against something. you have to be against something. so i think in a lot of ways succeeded and paul ryan was the main reason why in solidifying the base. because paul ryan appealed to all elements of the republican party, from fiscal conservatives to tea partiers to social conservatives. he was able to do a lot of the things that mitt romney didn't do. he got a lot of the republican parties onboard. the second part i think they succeeded was -- in warming up mitt romney's image. you know, i had about two weeks ago, walmart had a focus group
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in raleigh where they had a group of undecided women, they were called walmart -- walmart moms. these were undecided voters. and they were asked what they thought about obama, what they thought about romney. and basically they were very disappoint in the economy. and they were open to change. some of them had voted for mccain. some of them voted for obama. but they were -- they were truly undecided at this point. they liked obama, but they were very disappoint in the kmip. they really had a hard time connecting with romney. and it was on a personal level. they felt disconnected. they didn't know much about his story. they thought he was a rich guy. one woman said she never even thought he would -- at a grocery store. one of the focuses was to warm up, fill out the rez mee of mitt romney. who he was as a person. people knew something about him being a successful businessman
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and governor but didn't know enough about him as a person. one of the goals that the republican convention was was to fill out that resume. i think they succeeded to a certain extent, to a large extent. ann romney was effective and some of the other speakers as well. the thursday was to go on the offensive on the whole medicare issue which is a really tough issue for the republicans. and there i -- i don't think the republicans fail, but i think it was unclear whether -- i think that battle is yet to be determined. i think it will be played out over the next few months. >> host: numbers on the bottom of the screen for rob christianson, chief reporter and columnist for the "news and observer" out of raleigh, north carolina. democrats, 202-737-0001. republicans, 202-737-0002.
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independents, 202-628-0205. our guest will be with us for 20 more minutes. do move this forward, mr. christianson, this week to the democrats. what are the democrats' goals this week? they have similar goals. it's not really the same. the democrats really do like obama. they don't have to warm up to obama like the republicans warm up to romney. they have to create the same enthusiasm. there is -- still are a lot of questions whether they can re-create that sort of enthusiasm level that they had in 2008 where history was being made. certainly after four years and you had the realities of governing, the realities of an economy looks pretty tough, it's hard to re-create that level of excitement and enthusiasm in 2012. and we don't know whether it's
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going to be that level or not. that's one of the things the convention does. the convention -- or the democrats hope it will do, both nationally and in north carolina. for example, in north carolina, the democrats are hoping to do what they did in denver and in colorado is use the convention as an organizing tool to help -- to help the -- turn the thousands and thousands of volunteers that are being used here in charlotte for the convention and to use them to help turn them into a political organization, to help get voters out to the polls in the next couple of months. the other thing is, they have to reach out to voters. one of the messages coming out of the republican convention is that the obama administration did not work. that the economy has stalled. the obama plan has not worked, and that now is the time for a change. time for a new team to come in and time for the american people to turn the page and try something new.
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the obama countermessage has to be to the sliver of undecided voters, it is a fairly small number of undecided voters is that look, things are improving. that the obama administration was handed a bad economy. that things are slowing improving. not necessarily to -- as fast as they'd like. but hang in with us a little longer and you'd -- and then the third part of that is that the romney formula doesn't work. that's the return to the sort of bush policies that got us into the mess in the first place. so those are essentially the three arguments. a, get their base excited and get that same level of interest that they had in 2008. and then -- then reach out to those swing voters, that, a, things are getting better, and, b, romney is not the answer. >> chris paul for our guest in charlotte, north carolina, manhattan, new york, vicki,
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democrat. you're on with rob christianson, good morning. >> yes, good morning. >> i want to speak to the people hello? >> host: yes, you're on the air. we're listening. >> caller: i wanted to talk more about the people who are calling in, you know, talking about what obama can do and what he -- he didn't accomplish a lot for what he was handed down. and people need to realize that the republicans have done nothing to help the poor and the middle class. as far as giving them a raise, the democrats got that as far as getting health care, confidence for all the democrats. obama has to talk about what he's done and let people decide on that. to go back to the bush days, this country has to be out of their mind and need to realize
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obama is for all. he wants to help everybody, not just the rich. he's going to help the poor, the middle class, and the people who need the help. why the country cannot see that is beyond me. and the statement romney get back -- the republicans get back in. this country will go downhill. >> host: vicki from manhattan. one focus one viewer writes needs to be the economy and jobs. they write if we increase employment, they will cure all our ills. not sure if the last part is true, but what about the first part in what each of the candidates is going to put forth from this point forward in the jobs area. >> guest: sorry, repeat the question? >> host: i'm asking what each of the candidates, the president and mitt romney will saying specifically to voters about how to create jobs moving forward? >> guest: well, the -- the romney plan is basically tax
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cuts, deregulation, free up, get -- free up free enterprise. it's your traditional republican formula, get government off of the backs of -- of small business and that will grow the economy. obama has a more traditional democratic response. there are tax breaks and so forth for businesses in some of his proposals as well. but it's more middle class oriented. it's more things like the support for research grants, pell grants for students. more -- more, as he says, more towards the middle class. so -- it's been -- there are
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different ways of helping the economy. one is more direct stimulus, stimulus program aimed at keeping teacher, keeping them on the payroll, police. so there's -- there are lot of similarities but a lot of different approaches there. .
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, sort of lighter industries and those industries have been in decline for years and are slowly being replaced by newer high tech industries but it's a slower process. so north carolina has been much slower to come back than a lot of other states and that's one of the reasons that it's been -- this has been a somewhat difficult state for president obama, because of the higher unemployment rate. it has little to do actually with government polices because north carolina has had a democratic governor and until recently democratic legislature so the democrats have been in control, and in south carolina, they had a republican governor, republican legislature,
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republican polices, we have essentially the same unemployment rate so it really has to do with some decline of some industries, some of them having to do with textile industries moving to other countries and they're not coming back and some of it having to do with the recession. and so these manufacturing jobs have been very slow to return and that's really why the carolinas have had a much more difficult time returning and why the unemployment level is higher. different areas of the states are affected in different ways. places like the major metropolitan areas, places like the raleigh-durham area where we have high tech industries, places like charlotte, where the banking industry are doing better, the places hurting are the small town, rural areas which are more heavily reliant on
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some of the more older industries, the textile plants and furniture plants in particular, agri business, they've had a harder time. the more rural you get, small town you get the higher the unemployment. and so that's sort of how that's played out. but there's a lot of hurt and pain in the state. it's easy to talk about retraining workers and younger people are going back to community colleges, our community colleges are overfilled with people trying to learn new trades, but it's hard to talk to somebody who is in their 50s about learning a new trade, after they've worked in a mill for all their lives, and -- than it is somebody who's 20, who is adaptable and willing to learn a new maul. host: markham, illinois, cecelia, independent, you're on the phone with rob christensen. caller: i was happy to see --
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i know it's been a rough go health wise, it was great to see him. at the convention this week, or as far as this upcoming week, what president obama really needs to do is let the american people know that first of all he's thankful for the opportunities that we've given him, that he appreciates all the support that we've given him in the past, and up to now, and that he truly loves and appreciate s everything that we do for him and our country, because i'm telling you, i'm out in the field, trying to get people to vote for him and i was thinking about not even voteing this year and this would be the first time in almost 30 years of not voting, because his campaign is so insular, and there are a whole lot of
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other issues. but president obama thinks just because he says he's out there fighting hard for us, doing the best that he can for america, that that's going to bring people to the polls. it didn't do it in 2010 and it's not going to do it now. host: rob christensen, any insight as far as the turnout this cycle, how will things play out? guest: we don't know. for example, in north carolina, in 2008, there was a tremendous differential between the democrats and republicans. obama campaign had a huge ground operation here and the republicans did not because essentially this had an red state ever since jimmy carter carried it in '76 and republicans simply do not believe that north carolina could go democratic and
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particularly go for an african-american candidate from chicago. so they took this state lightly until the last month, when they saw the polling numbers and saw that obama could carry it and by that time it was too late. this time, it's different. this time, republicans are investing heavily in their ground effort and they claim they're going to match match obama in this state. and so for example, i talked to ralph reid and his organization and they're trying to increase the intensity from, among, for example, christian conservatives, to sort of counterbalance the obama campaign and republicans have set up more victory offices this time, but my sense of it is democrats are on the ground with much more
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resources than republicans in this state, even this time. so we'll see. but even more than resources on the ground, north carolina it's interesting that there's only 14,000 votes that -- omabacare he'd the state by 14,000 -- obama carried this state by 14,000 votes, and $15 million was spent in north carolina by the two campaigns and their allies in advertising which is an extraordinary amount. a large edge to romney, but obama spent a lot, too, but nobody has been able to move the needle. and so despite this incredible barrage of tv ads, essentially the state is where at the end of the summer is still at the same place it was at the beginning
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of the summer, which is essentially tied. some polls will show obama up by a point or two, some polls will show romney up by a point or two but all within the margin of error. the state is a micro coz. on ofpl of the country -- microcosm of the country in a lot of ways, so if $50 million can't move the needle what will. in fact, we're seeing now, we can't prove this disastico zero statistically but anet dokally, people seeing ad after ad are beginning to tevo but the adds and they're becoming less and less effective because people are getting sick of the ads in north carolina as they are in probably the other nine states in which the ads are running lev -- heavily here, heavily across the country. so the ads are probably going to have in the next couple of month as diminishing impact which means, one could conclude, that the voter
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effort to get out the vote, are going to have an increasing effect and that the ads will have a diminishing effect. host: bob is on the line for republicans. hey bob. caller: good morning. i've an republican all my life, and i'm 62 years old, here in oklahoma city, and i kind of look at this whole republican, democratic rhetoric situation we've got going on is kind of to the point of being ridiculous. i think probably for the first time in my life, my family's life, i'm going to vote democrat this year. i think the reason i do that, i look at the economy as a whole wheel -- whole wheel that was turning backwards
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when obama was in office and he walked in with a huge deficit, huge problems and it took a little while to stop that wheel from turning backwards but the man did stop it and he turned it and got it on the right way. it's going to take some time. but i kind of hate to see the situation turn to a point to where about the time the economy got moving that a republican would sit back and take the credit for it. it seems to me the house of representatives, boehner and all those had it in their head, as soon as mr. obama was he elected president and took office, they had it in their head they were going to make him not succeed, or going to make him fail. host: bob from oklahoma city. wanted to ask you, rob christensen, in charlotte, north carolina this morning, how do you thinkat the convention are going to depict mitt romney, what will their message be to the
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faithful and this country? guest: the message has been over the last several months that romney is that going to be another bush, that turned back the clock. the romney message is obama has been an ineffective leader and we need new leadership, the obama counter message is romney the same old same old, this is a return to what brought us this mess. those are the two arguments. you know, the caller brings up an interesting point, and this is a subject that you were mentioning earlier, paul, and that goes to the polarization of washington. the polarization of washington is really much larger and that's really the polarization of this country. i bring a particular bias to this question, and that is i don't think that the american people by in large with very ideological.
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we've never really had a strong left wing party, despite what people say, about the democrats who -- we've never had a strong communist party and we've never really had a strong right wing party, we've never had a fascist party or whatever. i think the american people by in large are not particularly ideological. i think they are problem solvers, it's whatever works. i think that's sort of the american mind-set, whatever works. and i think that's where the american people go. so how do we get to this place where we're obviously very polarize dollars, and i think there are several things going on here. i think one of them is the realignment of the political parties. it used to be, for example, here we are in the south t. used to be that the southern democratic party was a key element in -- and the entire democratic party, it was true under roosevelt and truman and johnson, so forth, and
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that was a counter weight to the democratic party because the southern democratic party was -- that helped keep the democratic party from going too far to the left. and the same was true for the republican party, the republican party had an important element part of the northeast, northeastern and up north, midwestern moderates. they are moderate conservatives who helped keep the republican party from going too far to the right and they were counter weights, so when the south went from democratic to republican, and made the republican party more conservative and vice versa, democrats became more liberal so that helped pull the parties apart. i also think the whole question of redistricting has had an impact. it used to be that most members of congress had both
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liberal and conservatives in their district, a lot of them, and the congressmen kicked -- figured out, because they had to run for reelection, it was so much easier to sort of select who their constituents were, so what you had is that you now have so many members of congress who have overwhelmingly republican districts and overwhelmingly democratic districts and that means they don't have to reach out to the middle. all they have to do is if you're in a republican district, all you have to do is respond to your republican constituent, you're in a democratic district, all you have to do is respond to the democratic. so there's really no strong pressure from your constituents to try to reach out to the middle and compromise. and i also think that there are certain things that have been sort of been toxic to our politics. i think, for example, the internet, the internet is a wonderful thing, it has done many things, many wonderful things in our lives but it's toxic to politics. instead of sorting having a
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discussion, you have these, you know, short little e-mails back and forth which are slogans as opposed to discussions, i think, you know, all kinds of misinformation goes back and forth. it used to be you sat in a airport bar, some guy said something looney to you, you could look him in the eye and say okay, buddy and move to the he said of the bar, now the same guy puts out a website that says a committee to know the truth and you can't look him in the eye when he says something nutty, and so i think that's sort of been taxic -- toxic. and so sometimes i think talk radio has -- and some of the placement of news by talking heads, where shouting as opposed to conversation is
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contribute to the toxicity of politics. all that has had an effect of being polarize dollars and we've had a breakdown of the civic culture. it sort of, after world war ii -- i've talked to civic organizations, kiwanis clubs, rotary clubs, these usually have -- still do, have lots and lots of republicans and democrats working together in their communities for good projects to help the blind or whatever kids and so forth and brings recommends and tk-ps together and you could see these people didn't have horns, they were actually good people, even though they might have disagreements but you're finding the clubs are on the wane, mainly, i think. and they're aging out and having a harder time replacing them. so you're getting less and less interaction.
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i don't know about you,aul, but just in my life, just going about my living, you hear more and more people saying i don't know anybody who is voting for barack obama or you'll hear from democrats, i don't know anybody who's voting for mitt romney, because people are not interacting with each other, and they're shocked to know that there's anybody out there who is voting for the other side. host: 15 minutes left with our guest rob christensen. news and observationer out of raleigh, north carolina, chief political reporter and columnist. he joins us from charlotte. here's a twitter message, donna writes these conventions are stupid, simple as that, she puts it. let's debate issues. i don't need a pep talk. mr. christensen, do these conventions matter these days, this day and age? guest: they don't matter like they used to. obviously, they used to actually make news. they actually picked a president and a vice president.
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so they haven't mattered in that sense in 40 years. but they do matter in that they do allow the parties to get messages out in ways that are not commercials. let me go back to the walmart moms i talked about in the focus group that we were talking about early in our conversation, these were moments that shopped at walmart, part of our focus group, and one of the things they were really sick of were the negative ads. in a battleground state like north carolina, that's all they get is one charge after another by the two sides about romney is no good, obama is no good. that's all they're hearing when they -- or watching when they turn on the tv and they're really hungry for something positive. let's hear something positive. of course they're looking forward to the debates, right, so they can actually see the candidates having
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that conversation but also looking forward to the conventions. there is obviously negative stuff in the conventions but also the candidates get to talk about themselves and have other people talk about them, so for example, let's go back to the republican convention. this was an opportunity not only for romney to present his message and not just an attack ad on obama but it was an opportunity for other people to talk about mitt romney and who is mitt romney and what is mitt romney like as a person so it has some real valley think to help fill out the resume of mitt romney. and i assume that the democratic convention will have value, too, in helping people better understand the democratic message. so i think that i understand what the caller was saying about the conventions, maybe they are too long and in fact these conventions are both shorter than they have been traditionally and maybe that's a good thing. but i thr-pbg is value to these conventions. host: steve is on the
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democratic line, good morning steve. caller: yes. i have a couple of quick points. one, i think that whether it's democratic or republican, we should not elect a president that has the appearance of dodging paying taxes. i think there's something to hide there and we need to know not how much money romney has, but has he paid taxes, and not so much as the percentage, but did he -- when you put money in another country, you allow that -- didn't allow that money to be invested in american communities. the second point as far as when bush was in office for eight years, the banks crashed, gm crashed, jobs were lost by the millions, we were attacked, the trade towers were attacked, then romney -- the debt was up, we were in two wars and i just don't see what romney is going to do different.
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i don't see why we should go backwards to that same thing. republican, democrat, why should we go backwards. host: let's hear from daryl and then to our tkpeft. daryl is an independent in new jersey, go ahead. caller: hi. i was calling because i was a democrat and then i switched over to and intent. -- independent. i was getting crazy at both of them. i was liking mitt romney in the beginning but after he picked ryan he looked like he went crazy and got radical and just started coming out with all kinds of -- i was watching the rallies and i watched obama's rallies and you can see the diversity, blacks, chinese, everything, and ryan, it's mostly whites and they're saying all these nasty things. and another thing i noticed, when obama came in there, ma'am mcconnell and boehner said their job is to make this president a one-term president and that's their job and i believe obama could not do everything by himself.
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yes he's the president but he couldn't pass everything without congress and instead of passing bills they're making us suffer. i'm a 47-year-old man, i got a 21-year-old son and i lost my job with the state, but i also went back to school and got cdos and i'm driving a bus so the stimulus package did work for me. but that's all i have to say. host ho anything from the last couple of calls you want to jump on? guest: no. obviously the caller's views -- >> host: independent, that last caller, a larger part of eelectric toreat. what are each of the candidates going to be doing differently to appeal to that group? guest: you know, it's interesting that the -- so much of the electorate has already made up their mind. sometimes i think it would be more cost-effective if president obama and governor romney actually met individually with all the individuals, rather than spending all this money in
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advertising. because it is a fairly small slice of the etech loreat. -- electorate. in fact a small slice of the electorate in eight or # 10 states that will actually -- or 10 states that will actually determine this election so i don't know that those people are the true target audience here. but we're talking about a very few people that will actually decide this election, when you sit down and figure it, because most people, most democrats, most republicans, and a lot of independents, have already made up their mind. and so the undecideds are -- i don't know what percent you would say they are, but they are a very small part of the electorate. >> host: from gainesville, florida, a republican, uell, go ahead. caller: yes. my thought about the election is i don't see enough of the religious talk as it was
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talked about when obama was president and how obama has been vilified based on his pastor. i don't see how a republican can overcome the mormon religion, which is very secretive and doesn't include any blacks in its leadership. how will romney be able to say that his religious politics will not carry over into government and basically create a very secretive hierarchy in filling positions in government. host: thanks. rob christensen. guest: well, you know, we have separation of state and -- church and state in this country, and obviously governor romney has by in large tried to play down his religion in his campaign and
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until recently, where he opened up a a little bit. it's an important part of his life and he has a good story to tell because he's been very active in his spiritual life and has done a lot of good works in his community through his church. you know there, are certain people who will may be biased because of his religion, just as certain people may be biased against president obama because of his race, and that's just part of something that is part of this election, and that was something that president kennedy had to face when he was running as the first catholic president, and there were certain people that said that how can he be an independent president, that
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would be people controlling the president from the vatican. sounds absolutely silly today, but there were those charges that president kennedy and that kind of talk that president kennedy had to come overwhen he was running for president. that was also true when al smith was running for president in 1936. so there are -- but then on the other hand there are a lot of people who are mormons , who financially support him and work for him and so forth, so there are some positives there for -- but i think by in large, i think most people do not hold that against governor romney. in fact he has a fair amount of support among a lot of religious conservatives in the south. i think we saw that in the republican convention. you had people like governor mike huckabee who has a very strong support among social
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conservatives in the south saying essentially that what really matters is that he's a man of faith and he takes his faith very seriously. host: norristown, pennsylvania, dave is a democrat. good morning, dave. caller: good morning. my comment is really that -- two-part. first, i haven't heard anything from the republicans, nor the democrats, and the way that they would explain to the affluent that their gains and wages and money needs to be tapered off, needs to be taxed, so that they can help the economy recover, as well as the democrats don't address this problem, they don't explain it to them, so we have this big fight about tax cuts for the rich or taxation of the rich. secondly is the fact of the republicans nor the democrats
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are really addressing the problem of illegal immigration and how it affects our economy, because illegal immigration affects our economy and maybe 6-8 factors that i don't have time to explain to you on this -- in this comment, and i'm wondering what both candidates really want to do for the american citizen. host: thank you for calling. any thoughts? caller: well, illegal immigration is obviously an issue that has been as sticky an issue as exists in american politics, and both candidates have tread very carefully around it, and there's been obviously some criticism of some of president obama's polices, and recent executive
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decisions on that. but on the other hand, the latino vote in some states like florida and in mexico, which are key swing states, is critical, and so both parties are treading very, very carefully there. host: on the ground n. your paper, one more piece, mr. christensen, it says no letup in resentment towards banks, of course, charlotte a big banking center in the united states, a convenient target for protestors. what are you expecting in the coming days? guest: of course, the protest movement sort of fizzled out in tampa in part because of the hurricane. they are expecting more protests here in charlotte, but even with the hurricane, they were expecting more partly because it is the banking -- second largest banking center in the country, and also, because
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this is the convention that is the -- it's the party in power, the administration, and for some of these groups, it doesn't matter particularly whether you're democratic or republican, it's the party of the administration, and so this place looks like an armed camp, as you might imagine, and so i think we will be seeing some protests. it's impossible to predict whether that -- how large will it be, will it turn violent. i know that the police have from the very beginning thought that charlotte was the place that if there was going to be problems it would more likely be charlotte than tampa. host: bob crist ensen is phraoef -- chief polit
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political reporter from the charlotte observer. thank you for your time this morning. guest: my pleasure. host: we'll have gavel to gavel coverage of the democratic national convention in charlotte, north carolina for three days starting this coming tuesday leading up to the final speech, the renomination speech by president barack obama on thursday night. they will start at the arena and move to the stadium in charlotte. here on "washington journal", we will take a look at the political dynamics inside north carolina. we'll take a look at it deeper with professor susan roberts and later, ryan butler of lbgt democrats of north carolina will join us to talk about gay and lesbian issues in this year's election. we will be right back.
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>> i can only surmise, you know, in the movie, we rattle a lot of cages. >> i grab my caravan and pretended to be important. >> i fan ageld my way. these people seem pretty uptight. i was told that there were u.n. peacekeepers who had killed laborians. >> the -- here, we have the belligerent fighting of each other. that is how the u.n. -- how we would have to resolve it. >> i walked out of my
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apartment, the upper west side of manhattan, a very nice, comfortable place to live, nothing particularly exciting generally happens there and came out and i was greeted by a man who was waiting very nicely dressed, well-made suit, waiting for me outside my apartment and he said are you ami horowitz and i said yes i am, and he just simply said is this movie more important than your family. why does an investment banker make a film on u.n. waste, mismanagement and crimes committed by its troops? find out with ami horowitz at 8:00 on c-span's q & a. >> c-span's gavel to gavel coverage of the democratic convention starts this week, every minute, coverage on c-span radio and live on, featured speakers include san antonio mayor
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julian castro and michelle obama, tuesday, elizabeth warren and former president bill clinton and thursday, vice president joe biden and president barack obama. use our convention hub to share and make video clips. >> in the end, that's what this election is about. do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope. john kerry calls on us to hope. john edwards calls on us to hope. i'm not talking about blind optimism here, the almost willful ignorance to think unemployment will go away if we just don't think about it or health care crisis will solve itself if we ignore it. that's not what i'm talking about. i'm talking about something more substantial. >> count your own opinion and connect with other c-span voters on twitter, go to
8:35 am 2012. >> "washington journal" continues. >> host: as they continue to prepare in charlotte, north carolina for the convention tuesday, we'll point out that north carolina is a battleground, and in 2008 president obama won the state by about 14,000 votes, the first democrat to win there since jimmy carter back in 1976. and joining us now, susan roberts, political science professor at davidson college. for a deeper dive into north carolina. first of all, professor, tell us how the state has changed over the last decade or two. we read about so many changes and what does it mean to the race this year? guest: i think one of the most important changes would be the number of people that are newcomers to charlotte and north carolina. the guru of politics in north carolina, nate silver and public policy polling, public policy polling looked at the newcomers which are
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11 percent of the voters now in north carolina and they've given president obama the increase in the favorability rating. that's important to me. because the newcomers are people that support obama by 40 percent. that's impressive. host: a little more about demographics here. 72 percent, whites, and a significant black population, 22 percent, hispanics, 9 percent. speak to those demographics. guest: latin america, the latino vote has been by some accounts underestimated, and some of the estimates say that there are 25,000 more than the board of elections. what i think president obama has to do in north carolina is not convince voters but mobilize voters and that 14,000, this is the magic number, 14,177 votes, that is, as you pointed out,
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that's a battleground state. it is not a swing state. it is not a bellwether state. it probably won't be the state that is decisive at all in president obama's reelection bid. host: our guest, joining us from charlotte, north carolina, as we talk about campaign 2012, specifically about north carolina, here's susan roberts, a political science professor at davidson college, teaches courses on the presidency and congress, the parties, interest groups and campaigns, quite an array of courses there. we'll take your phone calls for our guest as we look closer at north carolina. lines for democrats and republicans and independents. more facts and figures, professor roberts. the population, just under 10 million in north carolina, that unemployment rate, as we talked about, is 9.6%. it's the fifth highest in the country, and there's that poverty figure, 15.5%. it's the 12th highest. give us more insight.
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guest: well, i think that is a reflection of the change in the jobs in north carolina. textiles, tobacco, those days are, for tobacco, gone, without question, and for textiles, it really has been declining. we've had jobs in computers, technology, these sorts of things have really had an impact. but you still have the rural areas that are suffering. and i think one of the things that i just looked into, knowing that we were going to talk today, 15 tea party chapters, so to speak, in north carolina, and they're highly concentrated in western north carolina. is that a surprise, west north carolina has always been conservative, but maybe it's going to mobilize those voters. metro and the urban areas, that's where you have the most growth and the most growth in the computer jobs and the jobs somewhat that go to the african-americans and
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the newcomers. host: phone number, separate line for north carolina residents, 202-628-0184 for north carolina residents. we look forward to hearing from you as well. first caller for our guest is from toledo, ohio, it's rasheed, an independent. good morning, rasheed. caller: good morning. host: go ahead, sir. col i was calling about the demographics, mobilization, in the election year this year. how do you mobilize a people as far as you know who will influence the vote for whichever candidate they vote for? i mean, because there's a lot of money being spent. and then you have media, sensationalists that sways a lot of, you know, not real
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intelligent folkies as far as the logistics of politics, swaying their votes either way. how do you mobilize a nation? host: thanks. dr. roberts. guest: i think in north carolina, you're going to look at several questions, and as your caller points out, do the demographics lead to the destiny, does it look to the history, and that really is important in north carolina, or is it the money. and i think in north carolina, there's been very serious efforts to register new voters, especially african-americans, especially the hispanic latino voter. north carolina, quite frankly, is a state where money is going to matter, but i think especially in the charlotte area, there is kind of campaign advertising fatigue. we see much in the way of money spent, especially in the charlotte area, and it's
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an expensive market. i think for mobilization, you're going to have to see president obama convince some of the independents to turn out. there was a great study by the pew research center recently that talked about more or less all independents are not created equal. and as a political scientist, we know that independents are least likely to turn out to vote. they are some of the people that while we think they are textbook voters, they really have to be turned on by the kpwaeupbs -- campaigns and turned on by the electorate to vote and i think that's important to vote. i think you're right in saying demographic are the key and mobilization is where we get the demographics to stay where they are and to help president obama. >> host: as we go to the next caller, the recent cnn-time poll has mitt romney, 48 percent, barack obama, 47 percent. that's the latest north carolina poll of likely
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voters from last week. washington, d.c., our next call, mo'ninque, democrat, good morning. caller: hello. i just wanted to know, why when candidates, or republicans, when they get on tv and they talk about president obama doing this and president obama doing that, then actually, they are actually being truthful. what is wrong with our politicians today when they can't just get on the podium and state facts? and president obama should get on the podium and state his facts. he shouldn't worry about thinking out of place or saying something wrong. he just needs to go straight at them, as hard as he can, with all the accomplishments this man has made and it hurts me to my heart when i hear the other side talking down to him. this is the united states of america. host: susan roberts, i want to point out, in our twitter traffic this morning, a whole
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issue of truth and facts is out there quite a bit. what would you say to that caller? guest: well, i would say that both sides are trying to pick apart of the arts. we now have an age of 24/7 media, there's always someone doing research or blogging about what some of these things mean, fact checks, which i like better than politifact, i'm not sure the average american vote ser listening to some of this. i think that might be part of the narrative that the democrats are going to use in charlotte here at the convention, are some of the facts, and they should reiterate those facts, and you can't be selective about some of these, as many people criticize republicans. people have said that the conventions really give the candidates unfiltered access to the american public. i quite frankly think that it
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may be unfiltered for those few minutes but it's overanalyzed, so that's one way that people, the american voter, can listen to these, and see. and of course, it depends on where you're listening. if it's fox, if it's msnbc, if it's c-span, if it's cnn, they take very different approaches to how they're going to dissect that speech. host: north carolina on the line now, greeneville, max, independent, welcome to the program. caller: hey ms. roberts, thank you for coming on today. guest: thanks. caller: there was a piece in the new yorker about arthur pope, a businessman in north carolina, that was bankrolling a lot of organizations and superpacs and paying for a lot ofo zero i was just -- a lot of -- i was wondering if you could speak on how that could turn out and the influence of money in north carolina. host: thank you for calling. guest: sure. i think that one of the things candidates would love to do and cannot do anymore
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is control the message, because they are the superpacs and a candidate can always say that wasn't me. that was negative, but my campaign doesn't do it. there's a very fascinating question to me is -- they're not coordinated but boy, they sure have a good idea, the superpacs, of where they want to take the message, and i think as you pointed out, pope is from north carolina. north carolinians, not the ones that are newcomers, remember the days of jesse hel hims and his money machine that gave the candidate all the resources to deliver a message that all too often was negative. people look back at the helms race that was infamous, you had a white hand that came out and crumpled up the piece of paper and the tone was here's a job i didn't get because of affirmative action -frpblgs -- action. so those eches are -- raebgos
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are there -- those echos are there today. >> caller: ms. roberts, how are you? guest: fine thanks. caller: i would like to make a comment. what we like right now and have in the last four years is leadership. we have no leadership whatsoever. if obama would get up there and lead these people, the congress and senate, they could do something, but they don't have to. and did you hear the last rumor? i heard that nancy pelosi and harry reid has had an affair and she had an abortion. host: let me cut you off there. is there anything in the first part of the call you want to talk about? guest: sure. one of the things about the republican national convention was first of all the american dream narrative which is very powerful, that anyone can succeed, but the second narrative i think was a lack of leadership. i think that the republicans failed to mention, and i want
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to point out in the most generous way, it was a stalemate between the democrats and republicans in washington, and that makes it very difficult for president obama to do anything. one of the questions that they asked mitt romney and he said i'm going to do this my first day in office. fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon the issue, a president cannot walk in and do something on the first day. we need congress to help us, and that's a good thing. i might point out, too, that we're so polarized that the republicans have gotten more conservative and the democrats, to a pretty small percent, but they've gotten more liberal. at least the partisanship is more entrenched and there -- there are too many people -- gone are the days of moderates. >> i was taking inventory to think about what are the reasons and the fertile
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ground for the democrats in north carolina, and surely couldn't come up with a number. want to point out this out because i think many aren't aware. they're aware of the fact that north carolina has that # .6 unemployment -- 9.6 unemployment, they're aware of the fact that amendment one, really saying, defining marriage is between a man and woman passed by 61 percent, while the opponent spent twice as much and they're aware the republicans took over and it's been 140 years since the republicans controlled the legislature. but a few things that are interesting and i think that come from the republican-controlled legislature is the republican s helped defeat the racial justice act which said that someone get the death penalty if they prove prejudice, could go to a life sentence, they looked at and had a very robust
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redistricting. one of the things they also did in north carolina is that they -- and i think this is curious, they looked at the fact that in north carolina, and this is something that i've been face nated with because -- fascinated with because i do teach the politics of reproduction, north carolina had the third largest sterilization program in the country and led by the republicans, tom pellat, they tried to pass the first ever program by which victims of sterilization, in north carolina, would get compensated. testify the house, republican-controlled house that, couldn't decide on the exact number. so that's a little bit after curious thing in north carolina. many of the things we can look at and look the a the north carolina legislateure, saying it's more republican, more conservative and perhaps more divided. host hos you mentioned the tea party earlier, tkr-b roberts. there's a twitter question, a tweet that says you mentioned the north carolina tea party. how strong has the get out
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the vote effort been in past elections? host: by -- guest: by the conservatives, dithe tea party? that's one thing i'm not really sure of. i always tell my students, when we talk about third parties, is it's very different to talk about people that identify with the tea party, because there is no one consistent tea party. these 15 chapters. i'm curious as to the extent to which they act as a coalition or they coordinate their efforts, but i think they're going to see those conservatives and the tea party, whatever you want to call them, they're going to turn out the voters. i don't know if they've been registering voters. i know that the registration efforts are not exclusively for the democrats. host: some more of the numbers in north carolina, according to the secretary of state there, registered voters, as of las week,
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democrats, 43 percent of the state, 2.75 million folks, republicans, 31 percent of the state, an affiliate of that the state, 1.65 million. anything in those numbers you'd like to tell us about? >> i think independents may be the key in north carolina, and according to some works, pew and others, that's where the growth has been, the independent vote around the country and except for one of the battlegrounds/swing states, you've had independents on the rise and i think it's the independents, and for north carolina, i think it's the newcomer, the people that settle in the research triangle, that come to charlotte, to the banking industries, and i think some people underestimate the number of retirees that come to the chapel hill area. that's been on the increase. one of the largest upticks in retirees coming to north carolina. that's the older population. what's going to happen there?
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north carolina has a robust state higher education system. i can't recall how many state branches, but those would tend to be more liberal, should they be able to vote in north carolina. host: from bob, who is in florida, it's bob a. republican, hi there. caller: good morning. i can't thank you enough for taking the call. this is for susan roberts, and i had seen a little blip there about a year ago, and it said that what was considered the black belt, which went in pretty much along the eastern seaboard, i read that it was 6 1/2 or 8 1/2 million black americans had retired and had moved out of this large area, so they -- they mentioned this was the largest racial impo dous in -- impo dous in -- exodus
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in the country. i was wondering if they were retiring from the no jobs in the north if they were going to go south and if they were going to go south, they would be going back to their home towns in the south and reestablishes with their grandparents, and whatnot and i was wondering, the elections are going to be hinged on such a small number. i think there was a 15 or 1700 or 17,000 person vote, how much of that comes into play with all these folks getting redomiciled in other states in some of these are going to be squeaker states and 15,000 people might just do it for the southern states. i can't thank you enough for taking the call. i was just pondering that. thank you. guest: that's a wonderful
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question. i wish i had numbers for you. i don't think that's so prevalent in the lower south. north carolina always tries to position itself as a very progressive state vis-a-vis the rest of the south. it's the only state if you look at some of the mapping with all of the colors that is pink. all the rest are red. so i don't know what the numbers are in the other states. i think you have had african-americans who have come back to north carolina. i don't know the numbers. but i think you're right t. could be significant, especially if they're mobilize the. host: more about how the state has been changing, susan roberts, we've read about the urban versus rural economy in the states. tell us more about how it's changing. guest: i think that area, it is becoming more liberal than the rural. that vote really -- that ideological divide was really prevalent in the voting on
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amendment one concerning defining marriage as only between a man and woman. the metro areas came out against that proposition that defined marriage between a man and woman and it was the rural areas that were the ones that were much more conservative. and i think -- i don't know, it's always interesting, some places, pew and others, look at church attendance. we look at the rest of the south and the rest of the south is more event gelical than north carolina but i don't have the numbers. that would be something we could look at toie what it signals for north carolina in 2012. host: are there other races on the balance i don't the in -- ballot in north carolina that can make a difference? >> there are several things that the democrats could not control in north carolina coming into this election. one was governor pur due who was not -- she was at 1.1 of the three least liked governors in the country. she decided not to run for
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reelection. pat mccory who had run for governor before is a popular figure around charlotte, he was a mayor for years and years, i think five terms if not more and i think that's a race that's tightening, but i think the republicans have a very good chance or good chance at getting the governor's race and also think there's been so much redistricting that the republicans i have heard hope to pick up four seats in north carolina. that's pretty impressive. a blue dog democrat in north carolina decided not to run, i think it was one of those things that i don't know that he would have been defeated but i think he made the decision that this just wasn't what he wanted to do and he had views, they were more liberal views for the republicans, they weren't ones -- he wasn't a liberal democrat, a very conservative democrat, but he chose not to
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run for reelection. i think that's telling. host: let's hear from prescott, arizona, lenny on the democratic line for susan roberts. hi there. can you turn the sound down on your set, please? we'll hear you much better. i think lenny might be gone. let's try june in our -- in north carolina. june, what would you like to say? caller: i would like to thank you for taking my call. i am a loyal c-span listener and i want to tell you, i voted for obama, for his first term because of the health care law, i will vote for him again. romney needs to show his tax returns. what is he hiding? host: thank you for callings. does the health care law play a big role in the north carolina vote this year? guest: i think it does, but i think it's also a mixed message. i think north carolina might reflect the same sentiment as the nation as a whole.
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there are parts of the health care legislation such as preexisting condition and keeping a child or a young adult on your health care plan. i don't know what it's going to do for the next election, but i have heard that it's going to be discussed at the convention. as far as the tax return issue, i don't know whether you'll see that come back out but it is a concern with americans, and the fact that one of the things his campaign would say is he's given so much money to charity and i agree with the caller, should that be the case, we would like to see them, and then they contrast that with 10 years of tax reform or tax forms that his father released. i think it's an interesting question. i don't know what, if there's a secret there, but i think the american public will still want to knowant i wouldn't be surprised if you don't see ads by the obama campaign suggesting that there's something going on. host: tomorrow of course is
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labor day, susan roberts. we read that north carolina has a low rate of unionization. will organized labor be a role this year? guest: well, i think that north carolina is a right to work state. south carolina governor nicky haley made a good point of saying that they had a very low if not no union presence. there's been some concern, and we've spent a lot of time in charlotte, reading about the logistics of the dnc coming to charlotte, and i think the fact that there was some dissidence about the prevalence of the labor vote -- excuse me, the labor workers, the union in north carolina for the convention, that i think is an issue, and i don't know how much they'll be dal begannize -- galvanized. again, we've lost manufacturing jobs to textiles and tobacco, so kohn i don't know what that is. this is an article that said this is not your daddy's
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democratic party so the union vote is not the linchpin, it's not the key it used to be in the past. host: let's hear from dennis, republican in erie, pennsylvania. good morning to you. caller: how are you today? host: fine. caller: my question is, i studied and read the obama plan, i'm very active politically, and the thing i have to say is obama's people, all the time, misrepresent omabacare. i have many friends in the medical field, they are retiring, they're getting out of medicine because of the omabacare, it absolutely lies about the death camps that will decide what your health is, it's an absolute fact, on page 2100, i think -- the other thing is, living in erie, a democratic area, people don't really care about mitt romney's taxes.
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guest and you may be correct, and also there's the question that we haven't discussed and that is the importance of the party platform in looking at how won is going to vote. i think that was highlighted briefly at the republican convention with some planks that people said were fairly radically conservative, if there is such a thing. but i would just point out that the health care reform is very complicated. i think you have a firestorm when you looked at planned parenthood and access to contraception. i think that this is one of those things that people going to have different views. i would reiterate that it's complicated and i don't exactly know what the view is in the medical community, but i think there's been a lot of complaints in the medical community with insurance and the like for years, and so it may be that certain segments of the medical community have looked at the health care reform and find it too
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complicating. i really just don't know what that is in terms of the medical community. host: just under 15 minutes left with our guest, susan roberts, political science professor at davidson college speak about your students. what do they ask, and speak about these days when it comes to politics. guest: davidson college is about 15 miles from charlotte and we have a great number of students, democrats and republicans, who are working for the convention. about almost 200 that are coming down to work on thursday, and these are votes, people that identify with the republican party and identify with the democratic party. it stands to reason that more can identify with the democrats. i think there's a lot of -- i think the president had a conversation the other day about is it policy or is it personality that really galvanizes people to vote. one of the things that came up was the goal of the
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republicans in the national convention on thursday night was to humanize mitt romney. i think that tells a lot of people that that's one of the things that is the charisma that makes people turn out to vote. the american public already knows president obama. so what is the tone there? it's not going to be so much the personal narrative that we saw night after night for better or worse at the republican national convention. i think my students are also a little concerned about the polarization. they may be concerned about it because i talk about it a lot in my courses on the congress and the presidency. they're trying to figure out is it still a red state, do we still have red states or blue states, are there culture wars, and where does the youth -- where is the millenial vote now, what's going to happen that happened in 2008, is it going to there be in 2012. host: let's get a call from
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richmond, virginia, bertha, a democrat, for susan roberts. hi there, you're on the air. caller: yes. i'm calling and there was a lady that spoke earlier and she talked about not voting, that president obama needs to get up and be appreciative of everything that all of us have done for him, and i do think president obama is a -- he is a humble man, but what i wanted to say to her, don't have tunnel vision. it's important for all people to vote. not voting only hurts ourselves when we don't vote. we have to find something that we are in agreement with a country divided is a country that will fall and right now i see our country divided and i don't believe that president obama is causing hatred and division. i think he still is trying to pull the country together, and because of that, i will continue to vote for him. and another thing, god took
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care of the poor, so people make decisions if they want to be gay or lesbians, and -- and so forth, but people that cannot take care of themselves, as president obama said, we are our brother's keeper, and god took care of the poor, and that's where i think -- what i think we should do. host: susan roberts. guest: i think there is discussion about the degree to which we need to have a safety net. and i'll agree with the caller, too, we not only have what we could call the poor and how we frame that, but the working poor. and i think as you would probably agree, it's not just the vote. one of the things president obama did in 2008 is invest voters in his campaign, and that was reflected in the number of small contributions that he was able to generate, and that invests people in the election. if one gives $50, you're investing in the campaign. not just literally in terms
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of money, but figuratively, in terms of i contributed to this. and so i think we should all turn out to vote. one of the things i think if you look at 2008 versus 2012, then i try to point out is you did not have the number of states contemplating or passing voter identification laws. north carolina, and i want to point out because it does disappoint me, the state legislature refused to pay $600,000 that would free up $4 million from the federal government to extend or have early voting centers, to upgrade voting machines, and as someone pointed out, that's a $7 to $1 investment. that's important. and i'm concerned as a political scientist about early voting and how this play be circumscribed in different states. it's still going to be an issue for the brennan center
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for justice, it's a great place to look about the number of states that are looking at or passing voter identification. governor perdue veto the the voter i.d. and the hout didn't override it. that was an attempt in north carolina but did not succeed. host: marie from raleigh, north carolina is now is on the line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm so thankful to be able to talk to you today. i enjoy c-span over the years, and i hope it continues. my question to the professor, fir of all, is about the topic of voters in the classroom. is it discussed specifically about the voters' power or feeling empowered, the dynamics, have they changed over the last 10 years, along with the diversity of
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communications throughout the country? guest: well sure, and using the social media of the leg up that president obama had in 2008. i don't have a facebook, i don't use twitter or whatever, you know, i don't tweet, but i think that's created a lot of interest in the younger voter. i do think they talk about, the students, talk about the influence of money and 2012 is going to be different because of more photo voter legislation, because of superpacks and perhaps because the use of the social media is not exclusively for the obama campaign, and we do spend a lot of time looking at what someone would call negative campaigning, and there's the question of whether that depresses turnout or has no effect at all. most political scientists would say the jury is still out, it's not clear that
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negative voting really spurs people to the polls as much as you would like. it really reaffirms what republicans think about the election and the candidates and what democrats think. negative campaigning doesn't do a lot to really convince the undecided voter. host: on the line, michigan, richard, a republican. hi there. caller: yes. i'm call w-g one question because i'm concerned with it. i'm concerned with your concern, as to why in three years has there not been a budget passed by the senate? the president presented one, it was voted down, 99-nothing. where is the senate budget? it's supposed to be by law that you have a budget. do you consider them law breakers? host something you can talk about. best guest i don't know that i consider them law breakers but i consider the u.s. senate highly dysfunctional,
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and i think if you look at it and you look at the much discussed filibuster and the way that they can, as someone said, the senate is the place where good bills go to die, and i think you're correct in saying the budget is a set of priorities and people want to see what -- this want to know our national priorities. it's be a -- it's been a complicated four years for the president but it's also been -- and i'm upset because we've gotten this politics of brinkmanship, almost like a game of chicken. you know, who will move first, and i think that that's a real -- to call it a stalemate is maybe being charitable. host: how does that play itself out the rest of the campaign do you think? blaming washington, blaming congress, blaming each other, or more a campaign about ideas? tkpeft guest well, i think -- guest: well, i think paul ryan would hope it's about ideas because he's been i believe a 7-term member of congress who didn't have the
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experience of being out in the work force, being in business, and congress is i think about 11 percent approval rating. people always said i'd like to meet that 11 percent that approve of the job that congress is doing. so i think it may be about -- they my try to portray it as ideas or the democrats may say look, we didn't have control of congress in the last two years when things really needed reevaluated, we need to push the country in a different course. i think congress is going to play into it. but i don't know which, if this is going to be the throw the bums out that we had years ago. host ho paul ryan will be in north carolina this week. by the way, what kind of traffic susan roberts are you expecting by the candidates, at least the principals and others? guest: i think we are going to have more republicans in north carolina than we had
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democrats in florida, and i think -- i would really argue that part of that is a function of hurricane isaac and the fact that it would have been unseemly to have a lot of politicians in florida at the time, but we've got republicans, paul ryan and others, coming around the state. i don't know that anyone is going to northbound florida. but i will -- is going to be in florida, but i will say this, we are going to see an uptick in protestors in charlotte for the democratic national convention than we saw in florida and whether that's a feature of the weather, or more stringent access, the protestors, i don't think we expect any trouble, but i think they're going to increase the dialogue and put a little more focus on the issues and the polices and maybe not so much on personalities. host: time for a couple more calls from lesberg, virginia, don kwrarbgs independent,
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good morning. caller: hi, good morning. i'm in battleground state, and i'm where there are political ads to the point where it's sickening. one caller talked about the lack of leadership. my question is, and this is what has changed me from an independent to a democrat -- from an independent to a d as soon as the republican party said they were going to make president obama a one-term president, i knew i was dealing with a bunch of children and there's no way if they were legitimately trying to solve issues for the country, if you put that up front, how can i expect that they were going to go ahead and make this easy or even cooperative for them to work with the presidency. so that made it -- that really put a sore bug in my ear, when they came out with that from the very beginning, because for me, electing a president is about issues, and it is about the -- it's about issues and character, and i'll tell you, after looking at the debates and after looking at the republican convention, i'll tell you, i'm very concerned
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about rom tphefplt one gentleman called nand said people are not concerned about the attacks, the attacks. well, independents are. what you do in the dark tells whou that person really is and even his thing about religion, i'm a christian, i believe that religion is an individual choice but i do think that tells but the character of the person and where their direction is going. so whether you believe, whether you're a christian or jew or mormon, i may have a problem that, you know, their philosophy on women or philosophy on polygamy or philosophy on magic under pants. stuff like that matters when you're talking about electing leaders that are going to lead this country. guest: i think you're right, i think independents, democrats, i would guess republicans, most of them, were a little disappointed to hear that mitch mcconnell said on day one, his job was to make president obama a one-term president. that was before we really got into a lot of proposals. i share the caller's disappointment with
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leadership, but i do want to point out this. i did not want to see religion play a heavy role in this election in terms of people being uncomfortable or mystified by president obama 's attending church and looking at that and also whether or not what americans might think about the mormon religion. i guess i'm glad that they didn't make it the highlight of the vote, the number one reason. i think that you're right in terms of leadership. we can't quantify leadership, whether leadership is, you know, in terms of rhetoric that canraly or move people or if it's something about what you do in the private sector. of course, i like politics. i don't understand economics or venture capital, or these sorts of things, but i think leadership is wanting and i think we have people in the senate and the house before who were leaders and took risk.
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here we have in north carolina the simpson-bowles where mr. bowles was a north carolinean, took some very bold steps, but i think you're right, it's going to take lead -- leadership takes followers and that's the one thing we can say and we don't have followers. if people are not going to follow the president, then we do have a vacuum in terms of leadership. host: susan rob certificates political science professor at davidson college joining us live from charlotte, north carolina, the site of the convention starting tuesday. thank you for your time this morning. guest: thank you. host: we have one more segment on this sunday edition of the "washington journal", after a short break. we will meet ryan butler of lbgt democrats of north carolina, talk to us about gay and lesbian issues in this 2012 election. plus more of your calls. be right back. >>
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>> i like book t-frbgs anything that's happening, anything live, i'm looking for things that are -- court rulings, anything that's really -- you want it unfiltered, you don't want to worry about commentary, it's unfiltered, pure. >> cody comes watches c-span, created by american cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your television provider. i can only surmise, in the movie, we rattle cages. >> i grabbed my camera and
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pretended to be important. >> i finagled my way on to the buses, these security council people seem pretty uptight. >> ♪ 99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer. >> ♪ >> i was told u.n. peacekeepers who had killed laborians. >> the french, at the beginning of the crisis, here, we have the belligerent s fight each other >> it sounds to me like he's dodging the question. >> i walked out of my apartment near the upper west side of manhattan, a very nice, comfortable place to live, nothing particularly exciting generally happens there and came out and i was greeted by a man who was
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waiting very nicely dressed, you know, nice, well-made suit, waiting for me outside my apartment, and he said are you ami hor wits and i said yes i am, and he just simply said is this movie more important than your family. >> why does an investment banker make a film on u.n. waste, mismanagement and crimes committed by its troops? find out tonight with ami horowitz at 8:00 on c-span's f kwr* a. -- q & a. >> "washington journal" continues. >> host: a live picture from inside the time warner cable arena this sunday morning, as preparations continue. it will get much busier as the days go on leading to tuesday's start of the democratic national convention. population of charlotte, by the way, is 3/4 of a million people, the whole metro area that is grown by over 30 percent in the last 10
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years. on our screen now is ryan butler who is going to talk to us about -- a little more about north carolina, specifically gay and lesbian issues. mr. butler is a north carolina delegate of the dnc and also president of the lbgt democrats of north carolina. thank you for joining us this morning. guest: thank you, good morning. host ho there's one headline that said the democratic convention will include a record number of lbgt delegates. explain what you're expecting this year. guest: well, this year, the reason i think you're seeing such a record number -- by the tpwhaeu north carolina, we're spending more than three times more than we've ever sent, as far as lbgt delegates go. one of the reasons you're seeing that is we have a president that for the first time ever has tpaoupbs dollars his support for same sex marriage and marriage equality. also president obama has' extremely supportive of other
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lbgt issues. he ended the discriminatory don't ask don't tell policy, he has had conference at the white house on bullying, and a number of other things that have -- lbgt folks were already behind the president, but these things have just made lbgt folks absolutely estatic about supporting president obama in the upcoming election, and that's why i think you're seeing so many lbgt folks at the convention. host: can you speak to us in terms of numbers, this year versus past years? guest: in north carolina, i'm aware of that number and we have three times more delegates, lbgt, than they previously had. host: let's put the numbers on the screen, we're talking about the guess and lesbian vote, democrats, republicans, independents, you all have your separate lines for ryan butler who is our guest in charlotte, north carolina, president of the lbgt democrats of north carolina, he is also a north carolina
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delegate to the democratic national convention. wanted to ask about preconvention events that might be happening in charlotte that are highlight ing folks who you want to hear from. what's happening out there today and in next couple of days before they actually start the convention? guest: there are several lbgt organization that is are having events. i know the human rights campaign is having an event and the tone walled democrats are having an event, a lot of the events are for delegates but there's also caucuses going on where members of the lbgt community who are delegates will all be meeting together on i believe -- i believe one is tuesday and there's another on thursday and that will allow the delegates to get together and to discuss issues around the convention and just amongst themselves. host: how about the convention itself, the three nights, what are you looking forward to hearing and from
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whom? guest: obviously i'm most excited about hearing from the president. i mean, he has an huge supporter of lbgt issues and i think that's probably the number one speaker i'm looking forward to but certainly there are a lot of people on the list. the democrats have a pretty good bench when it comes to great speakers, we have bill clinton and several others that will be there speaking, just will be very interesting people to hear talk. i'm looking forward to it. >> tell us will the -- about the lbgts in north carolina, you are part of the executive commit aoefplt what does that mean and how significant is that? -- committee. what does that mean and how significant is that. guest: a lot of people have lbgt caucuses within their democratic party. here in north carolina the lbgt community has long been a part of the democratic party in north carolina. this move was more of a form lization of that
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relationship. i think one of the things that was really a catalyst for that was the amendment one appearing on the ballot. once folks inside the democratic party heard that was happening, it really made them feel like they needed to mobilize and get their support together inside the democratic party, because the democratic party both nationwide and in north carolina is very supportive of marriage equality and lbgt issues. host: phone number on the bottom of the screen: we'll get to your calls in a moment for our guest who is ryan butler, he's in charlotte, north carolina this morning, site of the convention that starts in a couple of days, he's a north carolina delegate, and how long have you been a delegate, mr. butler, and what does it mean to you? guest: delegates were selected in the state here at the district level, and basically each congressional
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district had an organization of democrats that met and selected delegates and then statewide, there was a meeting as well to choose several more delegates. and actually, i was selected at the district level, and my partner was selected at the state level, and it's very significant for me, because we'll actually be the first gay married couple sent by north carolina together as delegates to a national convention. so that was something that was very touching to me, and i think it just showed, you know, with amendment one being here on the ballot, there was a lot of outrage among democrats and other fair-minded north carolinians once that passed and i think one thing the democratic party want to do was show its support for the lbgt community and show folks that they were serious about getting behind that. so i think that's why the democratic party is send sog many lbgt delegates, and the we're reason is you have --
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and the other reason is you have delegates interested in going because their support for the president couldn't be stronger. host ho william, an independent, good morning. caller: what do you want to know? host: do you have a comment or question for the guest? caller: i have a comment for the guest. as a male, i do disagree with the term marriage being other than between one man and one woman. now. on the other hand, i think that if they could come up with another word, another definition, where the homosexuality is -- and they can form a bond, have the same rights, but it's not called marriage --
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>> host: mr. butler. guest: well, i think it's a very interesting notion that the caller mentions that. one of the problems people have with amendment one is in north carolina, amendment one was placed on the ballot by very conservative, radical wing of the republican party, and the language of amendment one was not very clear to most voters who went in there. they thought they were voting to ban same sex marriage, but what that did in north carolina was it banned any legal recognition for same sex couples. and i think what the caller is indicating is basically what you see in polling no north carolina, while a majority of north carolina at this time is a little different than the rest of the country, the majority of the country supports marriage equality, the majority of north carolina is almost there, but that is made up with another group of people who support same sex civil unions or second domestic partnerships. when you call in polls and
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ask people in north carolina do you support legal recognition for same sex couple, the vast majority say yes. now, using the word "marriage" is what gets to some people right now. i think that that is quickly changing, though, as people realize that separate but equal is not always really equal, and the problem with civil unions or domestic partnerships is they don't really confer the same legal rights as using the word marriage. it's because marriage has a strong legal basis here in the united states. when you use the word marriage, that immediately invokes a number of laws. that's the way our statutes and laws in this country are written. the word marriage actually means something legally. so unless you use that word, unfortunately, it's very difficult to get the same rights. it would require a pretty vast rewrite of the laws, both state and federal, in order to get those sail rights and recognition. that's why i think the gay and lesbian community has been so -- said it's so
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important to use the word marriage is because that's the only way to really assure that gay and lesbian folks can get the same legal rights and responsibilities. host: samuel is on the line, democratic tphraoeupb hardyville, kentucky, good morning samuel. caller: i was wanting to talk about the same sex marriage. it wouldn't make any difference what obama comes up with. if he can come up with same sex marriage, they would disagree with them. the republicans are flipflops whatever democrat comes up with, obama comes up with, they'll disagree. that's their motto. host: ryan butler,thy thoughts? guest: i don't think that president obama is really stating his support for same sex marriage just for the purpose of disagreeing with the republican party.
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i think that like a lot of americans, president obama's view of same sex marriage has been evolving over the past several years. and if you look at polls, you can see that, you know, the majority of the country did not support same sex marriage years ago. in the past three years, you can see the majority of the country now does support same sex marriage. .
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sometimes it can be very tricky and confusing for voters who do not understand what they are voting for. another thing that we have to keep in mind is turnout. in north carolina, we had an event on the primary ballot turnout vastly different in the primary and general. this is really -- it really depends on the turnout. the final thing i will say about
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that, i think that what you are seeing here with these amendments that republicans are putting on the ballot to try to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, the fact that mitt romney is not be able to run his economic policy. he is running on the same economic policy that george bush used for eight years and got us into the mess that we are in now. instead of actually trying to run on his policy, you are seeing gay marriage been used as a political football. they are trying to use that as an issue to turn out voters. whether or not that will work, i do not know. >> the convention begins in two days. as the democrats gather in north carolina, joel, republican line, a low. caller: a couple of things. the first thing is that this
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gentleman has portrayed himself as being married in north carolina, and that is impossible. that is an absolute lie. host: let me jump in and ask him to explain his story. caller: the caller -- guest: thank you. the caller is correct. i was married to my partner in canada. we returned here to n.c. after that. n.c., of course, does not recognize that. that ceremony was conducted within the unitarian church. i do consider myself to be married. the caller is certainly entitled to his own opinion. host: question or comment? caller: secondly, you had asked him three times note to say how many of the north carolina
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democratic delegates are republican -- excuse me, gay or lesbian, and he has declined three times on that same issue. >> we have 180 -- 180 or so delegates, three times more than we send in the past. >> what specific issues at the federal level are you trying to address? maybe something we have not talked about? guest: at the federal level, i think that, you know, the biggest thing right now that the community is interested in right now is the employee non- discrimination act. basically, that is a law that would make it so that people could not get fired from their jobs just because they are gay
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or lesbian. that would be the legislation we have been trying to pass for a number of years. we have come close to a number of times, but it has not gotten there yet. the president has indicated that he would sign that into law after this election. >> titus in atlanta, georgia. good morning. caller: good morning. my question is -- why is it a big issue if the gays and lesbians are not affecting the race in any kind of way? what about in the government, should they be following suit? that is what i have to say.
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host: any thoughts? guest: i think he was saying -- i could not hear it all -- is what is the big deal. that is the view of many americans out there. that if you do not like gay marriage, do not get one. sorry, i was not really able to hear the whole question. the issue of gay marriage for the majority of the american public is probably far down on their list in terms of things they are concerned about. they are concerned about the same things the democratic party is concerned about, jobs, the economy, and education. those are the things that people at home are worried and concerned about. we are supportive of lgbt civil rights, but realize that the top issues today are jobs and education. that is what people are concerned about. that is the main priority of the democratic party.
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i think that most people at home would agree with that. host: in light of the president coming up in support of gay marriage this year, how big of a boost has that been? guest: in the beginning, i said this, lgbt people were always behind the president. people are ecstatic about supporting him. they really want to get out there and help him get reelected. i think that that will be a huge boost to his fund-raising. when people of this excited and really want to help, it helps in every way around, from the grass roots to the grass tops. host: what would a mitt romney presidency mean to the lgbt voters? guest: as -- it would mean the same thing as it does to a lot of americans. tax cuts would go to the wealthiest 1% of americans.
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the middle class would be asked to pay for those tax cuts. you would also seek cuts to education. i believe that paul ryan has indicated that he would eliminate more than 1 million different college student held grants in one of his proposed budgets. it is the same thing that would mean to a lot of different americans. the rich would get richer and the middle class would be stuck for they are. the democratic party is really a party that is for middle-class americans and wants to get out there to help the middle class. i guess pretty much the same for lgbt as anyone else. host: our guest has a law degree from american university, the washington college of law in washington, d.c.. our guest is a delegate at the north carolina democratic convention.
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also a former television news producer and editor. kenny, democratic line, good morning. caller code do you think that president obama might be influenced a little bit? getting your votes, he may be turning back on you? host: what makes you say that, or think that? caller: i think that he needs all the votes he can get right now. it is my gut feeling. me, myself, i am not for same- sex marriage. i am a baptist. i am kind of stuck in my old roots, i guess. but his comments on that?
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guest: i do not think that the president is writing this in. if you look at the obama presidency, he has done the most for marriage quality. he has repealed the discriminatory don't ask, don't tell policy. he has done a lot of things, making it possible for partners to visit each other in the hospital. looking back at his record, he has done that. as far as the second comment about religious beliefs or opinions, if you look right next to the things in the bible, leviticus, where it says that
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man should not lie with another man, and also says not to shave , have long hair, makes certain types of fabrics. you do not see the family research council protesting bloomingdale's. whenever you pick one thing out of the bible that you want to use like that, you are kind of being a cafeteria christian. choosing what you would like to suit certain prejudices. people need to be careful to look at those things before drawing their conclusions. host: this is for ryan butler -- talk about that -- guest: one of the important things is the permanent partners act that they have been working on for quite some time now. basically, because same-sex
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marriage is not legal in all states or recognize that the federal level, there has been a lot of immigration problems if someone is a u.s. resident and their partners not and they are married, it is not the same as if someone was married and the marriage was recognized by the state and federal government. it has created a lot of immigration problems. that is probably number one on the international list. no. 2, they have been doing a lot of things. secretary of state clinton has been traveling around and encouraging different countries to be more pro gay at the united nations, things like that. host: north carolina, on the line. greg? caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. it is the news program for
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politics, really. mr. butler, going to these muslim countries, spreading or politics with lgbt, the world is predominantly muslim, i guess. millions of them. can you tell me that, honestly? guest: i do not know the answer. i apologize. i am not really sure. international politics is not really my best field. certainly, i know that hillary clinton is very supportive of lgbt issues, but also a very careful diplomat. i will leave it at that. i am not sure what is happening on the front.
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host: christopher, independent line. caller: as a voter supportive of the lgbt community, what do you think about the president's perceived lack sincerity about lgbt rights? i would point to the fact that he voted -- waited until the election season to support us. as an active-duty member of the military, i really don't think that don't ask don't tell being repealed had any effect. i would point to the defense of marriage act. as long as it is around, no same-sex couples will be entitled to the same benefits as traditional couples. guest: on the military issue, i agree with you. i have friends in the military and i understand that the repeal of don't ask don't tell
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is just a first step. i know that there have been questions and pressure on the president's to issue some policies to help prohibit discrimination in the military as well. i think that it did have an impact. no longer can a soldier be kicked out of the military just because of their sexual orientation. that is not allowed any more. i think, like any change, it is going to take time for that to be fully implemented and for everyone to kind of get used to that. i am trying to remember, and maybe you can remind me, the first part of the caller's question was -- host: are you still there? i think that that caller is gone. i wanted to ask you, tell us more about how you will be spending your week.
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what will you be looking forward to? guest: that thursday night and being a delegate in the arena. delegates will be on the field, which i am told will be a neat experience. being there when history is made, when the president is put forward for his second term. i think that it is going to be almost an on real experience to be right there when the actual nomination happens. also, really looking forward to president clinton's speech the night before. he always has something great to say. it will be interesting to see that, to be there as history is being made. host: detroit, michigan. david, hello. are you there? caller: i am here. host: go ahead. caller: game marriage, that is
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fine and everything. my thing is that president obama has been one of the greatest presidents of all time. what if the gop change the whole situation of the marriage? it is not a big issue, but how could they fix the economy? guest: i guess he is referring to the fact we are not seeing any plans coming from the republicans this year. basically, it is just them bashing the president and complaining about the economy. they have not introduced anything that would fix anything. actually, the only things that have mentioned are things that would make the economy worse, not better. we need to stick to the president's plan and keep moving forward with that to get the
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economy back on track. host: northern new jersey on the line. tom, republican caller. good morning. caller: the obama plan being better for the middle class, i disagree. the reason why is the obama chair in 2013 is going to make taxes from the middle class. the only agenda that obama has better than the republicans is being for same-sex marriage, which is fine. i am for that as well. but the mitt romney plan is better for middle-class voters. he is wrong on that. taxing the rich, taxing corporations is going to create less jobs. the mitt romney plan is going to cut it down and be better for the economy. host: economic argument? anything you would like to respond to?
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guest: clearly, i disagree with the caller. i think that the trickle down economics approach that he is arguing is a failed republican policy from the past. it has never worked. this idea that you would just give money to wealthy people and they would just give it away to people in the middle class has never worked before. what the democratic party is interested in is giving access to middle-class voters directly, rather than just giving them money to the wealthiest 1% and hoping that they will give it away. host: we have about 10 minutes left with our guests. we will take some phone calls and show you the website of the lgbt democrats. what will folks find there? guest: a little bit of information about our offers. remember, we are a relatively
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new organization. we've been called for a long time, the creation of the group was just more of a formalization of that relationship. you will find information about our newly chartered organization and how we were formed, things of that nature. host: judy, independent line. caller: first, i wanted to thank c-span for their excellent coverage of all things political. been raised with judeo- christian values, i have a problem with fence sitters. in the first campaign i found
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the president's record and that he was more of a fence sitter that a side taker. i feel like during the first campaign, he supported one man one woman marriage. here in his second campaign has switched and said that he has evolved. some people would call that flip-floping. i am hearing the word evolved. i am having a hard time understanding why our nation has a group that pushes gay marriage, yet we spend so much sending to other nations to tell them that a homosexual lifestyle is an appropriate and has deadly consequences. that is a problem for me.
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host: a couple of different comments there. anything you would like to add? guest: i think the president obama is one of the most principled presidents we have ever had. any time he has compromised, he has made it clear that he has a certain position that he is compromising on. i think that his change on the gay marriage issue was something that is perfectly explainable because it is what has happened with a lot of people in this country. the president has simply done what a lot of people in this country have done, and he has changed his view on that. it is distinctly different from it romney, who signed a plan that was very similar to the president's health-care plan in massachusetts, making it his landmark piece of legislation there in massachusetts. they had an individual mandate there. they still do. now he is running against president obama and he could not be more upset about it.
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there is a really distinct difference between issues where the president may have changed his mind that were explainable and things were met romney has changed his mind and it seems like they were being done just so that he could get elected. host: any specifics do you expect the president to reveal at the convention? guest: i will leave that to strategist with far more experienced and myself. i will not go out on a limb to predict what the president will do at the convention. i can say i am very excited to see his speech and think that when everyone hears it, there may be more of your callers who seem skeptical about supporting president obama with more people on his side once they see what he has to say. i really am expecting an
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excellent speech. host: now we are hearing from tom in north carolina. caller: how are you doing today? mr. butler, i think that what we are talking about here is just basic human rights. even if you do not support gay marriage, you can support the right for gay people to be married. i think that that is what the issue is. mr. butler mentioned that president obama had evolved. maybe he did not necessarily support gay marriage, but he supported their right to do so. that is what we are talking about. evolving to respect the rights of other people to do things. good luck to you. welcome to charlotte.
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obama, 2012. guest: thank you very much. i think that the caller really has a point there. if you think about it, first of all a lot of people in this country support people's ability to do things, say things, free speech and so forth, that they do not agree with, necessarily. it is amazing to see republicans waving an american flag at their convention, at the same time wanting to tell other people how to live their lives? how does it affect one person of another person gets married. if you think about the right to get married, it is such a fundamental right. murderers on death row have an absolute right to get married and have been within days of being executed. mentally insane people carry the right to marry at the right to vote. the once tried to pass a law that deadbeat dads could not get
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married without back child support and the courts struck that down, saying it was an absence of fundamental right. deadbeat dads, mentally insane people, and murderers on death row have a right to be together, but someone who has been together with their partner for 10 years and pays their taxes like they are supposed to, they do not? it is crazy, when you think about it. host: jackie, good morning. caller: how much damage was done by the recent shooting at the family research council? if same-sex marriage is not a big deal to most americans, how is governor romney going to use it as a political football? guest: i am not aware of anything about the shooting at the family research council. to answer the question about the political football, i think
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that what you have is a small, energized base in side of the republican party that navy does care about this issue. republicans know the lot of states could be close in this election and are hoping that this could energize an extra 1% or 2%, possibly giving them an extra push in a swing state. that is likely what we are looking at. host: john, independent line, good morning. caller: we are doing the election and running into all of these subjects, all of these things. what i see is some of the richest families on the planet, wall street, the courts, the government, basically turning the system into a weapon. we have wars started on religion, started over power.
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everything else, we are denying people their rights. habeas corpus was just suspended. we have the patriot act. we have insurance companies doing business with so-called terrorists overseas but only the 1% get to do business with them? in the media we're told we have to protect ourselves against terrorists. i see a bunch of religious -- how do you call it? extremists in all governments, with all of our leaders, basically telling us this as we lose our tax money and freedom. that is basically what i see. host: final thought from our guest in charlotte? guest: religious extremism is alive and well in the united states and it is definitely something that plays into the republican party. a lot of people involved in the republican party have extreme views on religion and want to
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force those views on the rest of the country. as one of the earlier callers mentioned, this notion that you should not be able to do something because it violates someone else's religious beliefs is something that we threw out when we passed the constitution. host: ryan bubbler, joining us from charlotte, thank you for ab -- utler, b -- utler, -- butler, joining us from charlotte. thank you. we have the latest news coming from the national convention and the week ahead. on labor day, tomorrow, we will be joined by the president of the national right to work committee. we will talk about his group's fight against what they call a fight against what they call a compulsory


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